Tesla Self-Driving Car Accidents
When Tesla first launched its self-driving Autopilot system, people were excited, and understandably so. Who doesn’t love the idea of watching TV or catching up on sleep while their car drives them around? It sounds like something out of “The Jetsons.”
Tragically, self-driving Teslas have been involved in several deadly accidents over the past few years, raising questions about Autopilot’s safety, Tesla’s marketing language, and the discrepancy between the two.
The Problem With Self-Driving Cars
When you hear the term “Autopilot,” you probably picture a plane flying itself, the pilot relaxing, or maybe not even in the cockpit. Or maybe you imagine a self-driving car, its driver snoozing in the backseat. Therein lies the problem: Words like “Autopilot,” “self-driving,” and “autonomous” all seem to suggest that these cars drive themselves. The reality, though, can be quite different.
There are several conditions under which the driver of a self-driving car should keep their hands on the wheel, or at least pay attention to the road. The car’s speed, location, and other factors can greatly influence how effective it can be in self-driving mode. In short, these cars are not fully autonomous—but many people don’t realize that. For many, the self-driving aspect of the car was the main selling point.
This gulf, between what Autopilot can do and what people think it can do, has already contributed to a series of fatal crashes.
Self-Driving Tesla Accidents
A rash of accidents involving Teslas outfitted with Autopilot have given drivers and regulators cause for concern:
- On January 18, 2020, in Pleasanton, California, a Tesla Model S jumped a curb, slammed into a brick wall, and caught fire, killing its driver.
- On December 29, 2019, in Gardena, California, a Tesla Model S ran a red light, smashed into a Honda Civic, and killed two people.
- Incredibly, the same day (December 29, 2019), on Interstate 70 near Terre Haute, Indiana, a Tesla Model 3 hit a parked fire truck and killed the driver’s wife.
- On March 1, 2019, near Delray Beach, Florida, a Tesla Model 3 on Autopilot crashed into a tractor-trailer while traveling at 68 miles per hour. The driver was killed.
- In October 2018, a Florida man’s Model S failed to detect a car disabled on the side of the highway and smashed into it at 80 miles per hour. The driver, Shawn Hudson, suffered severe injuries as a result. Morgan & Morgan filed a lawsuit against Tesla on his behalf.
- On March 23, 2018, on Route 101 in California, a Tesla Model X P100D collided with a safety barrier and caught fire. The driver died from injuries sustained in the crash.
Self-Driving Car Accident Lawsuits
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in an accident involving a self-driving Tesla, you could be owed compensation for the following:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral expenses
A self-driving car accident attorney may be able to help. Morgan & Morgan has an army of trial-ready attorneys who won’t back down from a fight. As America’s largest personal injury law firm, we are one of the few who can take on large companies like Tesla. To date, we’ve recovered more than $9 billion for clients.
Best of all, we only get paid if you win. To learn more, contact us for a free, no-obligation case review.